WASHINGTON (Jan. 5) — Auto makers generally are pleased with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration´s proposal to alter the confidentiality provisions for early warning reporting, but several groups have voiced their displeasure.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association feels the changes don´t go far enough, while groups such as the American Association for Justice — formerly the American Trial Lawyers Association — oppose them entirely.
A federal court ordered NHTSA March 31 to reconsider its early warning data confidentiality rules, because the agency hadn´t allowed adequate comment on them during the proposal period. The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers praised NHTSA´s decision to allow confidentiality for warranty claims, consumer complaints and field reports, but said the proposal to allow electronic submission of non-early warning confidential information were impractical.
The RMA supported some of the agency´s class determinations for early warning data, but insisted that classifying any early warning data as non-confidential requires review by the Office of Management and Budget under federal law. The AAJ said the proposal violates statutory and common law requirements, as well as the public´s right to know.
Comments on the proposal were due Jan. 2.